Friends and relatives of cyclists killed on London’s roads have accused London Mayor Sadiq Khan of not doing enough to save lives.
With three cycling deaths in four days, this has been one of the bloodiest weeks on the capital’s streets – leading to fresh calls for further investment.
Activist group Stop Killing Cyclists staged a ‘die-in’ protest and vigil on Saturday, gathering outside the Treasury to demand more government action and funding.
While Mayor Khan has pledged £770 million for cycling initiatives, the campaigners are demanding that Chancellor Philip Hammond increases the government’s funding for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure to 10 per cent of the transport budget by 2020.
But that’s still not enough for friends of those killed this week, including architect Karla Roman, 32, and 30-year-old newlywed Anita Sucs – who died within hours of each other on Monday.
And yesterday a cyclist wearing a helmet and high-visibility vest was crushed to death by a 40-tonne tipper truck in Docklands.
“I am very disappointed with our mayor at the moment, he’s too busy taking selfies to worry about cyclists,” fumed Michael Samuels, 52.
“What he promises comes far too late, people have lost lives because of the lack of action.
“I have been cycling for 25 years and there is so much aggression now from drivers.
“I was hit off bike last year by somebody who was texting on their phone. It is a disgrace nothing is being done.”
A friend of Ms Roman, who was killed on a cycle superhighway in Whitechapel on Monday, added: “Three people this week have died, how many more families are going to suffer before something is done?
“The die-in demonstrates the reality of what is happening and that this needs to stop.”
Vigil co-organiser Nicola Branch even claimed that since arriving in City Hall, Mayor Khan had slowed down the progress made by predecessor Boris Johnson.
She said: “As a cyclist I am seen as an inconvenience but by cycling I am taking up less road space and not a burden on the NHS.
“People don’t understand that a journey under five miles can be done on a bicycle.
“You can’t see the pollution that is killing us and it results in 40,000 people in this country dying prematurely every year.
“Unfortunately Sadiq Khan has slowed down the progress that Boris was making.”
Green Party Assembly member Caroline Russell admitted she was amazed by the number of people who turned out for the protest.
She said: “It’s incredible to see so many came here today to lie down on the wet freezing ground and remember those who lost their lives, and reflect how lucky they are to make it home safely after they have travelled on the roads.
“It is quite astonishing the vast amount of space that is given up to storing cars, especially given the cost to the environment and health.”
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